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and hoping for better times in the coming months. the big topic remains the fiscal cliff. we don't know if we can avoid it, yes or no. there's still some hope for a kind of a deal done in the next few trading days, but all the talk about the fiscal cliff is keeping the mood on wall street down. blue chips trading a bit lower and a mixed session with retailers. it looks like the christmas shopping season was not that stellar, at least for the traditional retailers. the fiscal cliff is the big topic and traders are hoping we resolve that in the next few days. >> after his singsong of waiting until the sun shines. christmas eve and the dow slipping just a little bit down. in the currency market, the euro against the dollar, $1.3187. final day of the festive shopping season, the biggest moneymaker for plenty of retailers, so how did this year's sales measure up? >> it will take time for the numbers to be processed, but most think it was better than average. >> germans use the remaining hours before the shops close to snap up last-minute gifts. the big department stores in frankfurt were chock ful
's optimistic democrats and republicans can reach a deal to steer clear of the so-called fiscal cliff, but he's got a backup plan if they can't. obama wrapped up a meeting at the white house with congressional leaders. they're trying to find a way to head off automatic tax increases and spending cuts that take effect in the new year which economists warned could trigger a recession. >> we're now at the point where in just four days, every american's tax rates are scheduled to go up by law. every american's paycheck will get considerably smaller. and that would be the wrong thing to do for our economy, it would be bad for middle class families, and it would be bad for businesses that depend on family spending. fortunately, congress can prevent it from happening if they act right now. i just had a good and constructive discussion here at the white house with senate and house leadership about how to prevent this tax hike on the middle class. and i'm optimistic we may still be able to reach an agreement that can pass both houses in time. >> the president obama says if time runs out, he will urge
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